New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked trial courts to immediately discontinue the practice of granting regular bail in cases that are pending in higher courts.
The apex court said an accused cannot surrender before a trial court and seek regular bail when a higher court has already granted a pre-arrest bail and the matter is pending there.
It said that copies of its order be sent to directors of all judicial academies in the country for bringing to the notice of all judicial officers exercising criminal jurisdiction in their respective states.
A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha took note of an incident in which a trial court in Jharkhand had granted regular bail to an accused, who had already managed to get anticipatory bail from the apex court as an interim relief while the matter was still pending.
"If this is a practice that is prevailing in some of the subordinate courts in the country and we had noticed several such cases, time has come to put the subordinate courts to notice that such a practice must be discontinued and consideration of regular bail applications upon surrender during the pendency of the application for pre-arrest bail before a superior Court must be discouraged," it said.
The bench clarified the factual position and said when the apex court or a high court or even a sessions judge grants anticipatory bail and the matter is pending before that court, there can be no occasion for the accused to appear and surrender before the trial court and seek regular bail.
"Surrender and a bail application in such circumstances is nothing but an abuse of the process of law by the concerned accused," it said.